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Matthew Modine on 47 Meters Down

47 Meters Down

(l-r) Matthew Modine, Claire Holt and Mandy Moore. (©Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures)

Every summer there is a movie with shark. This summer won’t be any different. 47 Meters Down ‘dives in’ Friday, June 16, the first film distributed by Entertainment Studios. The film was purchased from The Weinstein Company a day before it hits the DVD shelves, fortunately we can watch this creepy story on the big screen. Directed by Johannes Roberts who also wrote the script alongside with Ernest Riera.

On the rebound after a devastating break-up, Lisa, played by Mandy Moore, is ready for adventure while on vacation in Mexico. Even still, she needs a little extra persuasion when her daring sister Kate, played by Claire Holt, suggests they go shark diving with some locals. Once underwater in a protective cage, Lisa and Kate catch a once in a lifetime, face-to-face look at majestic Great Whites. But when their worst fears are realized and the cage breaks away from their boat, they find themselves plummeting to the bottom of the seabed, too deep to radio for help without making themselves vulnerable to the savage sharks, their oxygen supplies rapidly dwindling. Aside from Moore and Holt, the film stars Matthew Modine, Yani Gellman, Chris Johnson, and more.

American Actor Matthew Modine plays Captain Taylor in this thriller. Let’s check it out what Matthew spoke about it during the roundtable interviews a couple of weeks ago in Beverly Hills.

What was it about 47 Meters Down that attracted you to it?

Matthew Modine – It was a terrific horror movie without supernatural elements. I was speaking with someone from China who told me they don’t make horror films there because if there are supernatural elements then it is forbidden. Culturally, it’s forbidden because of spiritual aspects. So this was a horror movie without that supernatural aspects. It’s a horror film about something that could happen, that might happen, that does happen.

47-meters-down-4You play a maverick boat captain who agrees to take these young women on a shark sighting expedition. What was your research in playing Captain Taylor?

Matthew – I started scuba diving when I was 14 or 15 years old in San Diego. I wanted to be an oceanographer. I studied oceanography. I wanted to be like Jacques Cousteau. I’m really excited to be working on a collaboration with a woman named Sylvia Earle who is probably the preeminent marine biologists in the world today. She’s doing something really wonderful creating Hope Spots. There was an article on the front page of the New York Times a few weeks ago that talked about how 90 percent of the world’s fish stocks are gone. What they say is happening today is the equivalent and going into people’s homes and taking their children. We’re killing future generations of fish. There are not going to be fish to reproduce to fill those fish stocks. There are over 100 million sharks killed every year for their fins to make soup. The shark is an incredibly important part of the ecosystem of the ocean. To be killing fish at the rate that we are, we’re inevitably going to kill ourselves. You could take all the fish out of the ocean and, to us, the ocean would appear to be exactly the same because we look at the surface. We don’t think about what’s going on deep below the surface of the ocean. So we have to become conscious of those creatures that we share this world with. What Sylvia Earl is doing by creating Hope Spots around the world in different places, she’s giving fish a fighting chance to be able to reproduce. There’s a Chinese proverb: we don’t plant trees for ourselves, we plant them for our grandchildren.

 The sharks aren’t the real predators in this. It’s the mistakes made by the people on the boat that leads to their predicament.

Matthew – What do you expect to happen when you dump a bunch of blood in the water and then put humans in the water? This is what David Letterman used to call Stupid Human Tricks.

Have you ever been in a situation where you were reluctant to do something risky, but a close friend or family member persuaded you to do it?

Matthew – My wife talked me into jumping out of an airplane for a television program. It was something she wanted to do. I said, “I don’t have any interest in jumping out of an airplane. We did a tandem jump. I did four tandems and then my solo. On my solo jump my parachute did not open. When I was getting ready to do my solo jump, the guy that was coaching me talked about all the things that could go wrong. He said, “if the parachute doesn’t open, you reach up and grab those handles and you pump and you pump and you pump!” This guy was looking at me so hard that I feel like he packed my parachute badly because he knew it was going to happen. I was thinking, “That guy tried to kill me!” I was falling 122 feet a second and the earth was racing toward me and so I pumped and pumped and pumped. Finally, it opened and when I got on the ground I kissed the ground. I can’t watch any kind of program now where someone’s jumping out of a plane without feeling a lump in my throat. It makes me physically sick. I get dizzy. It’s horrible.

So, you didn’t blame your wife, right?

Matthew – Yeah, I did.

Did you get injured while making this film?

Matthew – Not this time. I’ve been knocked out twice on film sets. I’ve probably had 100 stitches from things happening on film sets. I wish they had been good movies where I could say it was worth it. But movie sets can be dangerous places. On Cutthroat Island I got hit by a nail. It was attached to a board and I’m on camera screaming to co-star Geena Davis, “Morgan!” There had these water guns that were shooting and it caught one of these boards that had a 16-penny nail. It was coming right at my temple, but at the last minute I turned and it scraped across the back of my head. It opened up the back of my head and I had to get stitches. And the day I got my stitches out, we were filming a scene where we were jumping from a balcony into the back of a wagon and there was this funnel-like device that had an explosive attached that was filled with cork. When Geena and I jumped out of the wagon, the wagon exploded. But when we jumped from the balcony what happened is one of the whiskey barrels that was on it rolled on top of this explosive and it became a projectile. So when the explosive detonated, the whiskey barrel went flying and it’s like chasing me, and it came down and hit me right in the back of my head where I had just had the stitches taken out. I was barefoot in my shitty costume. I knew I had to get out of the frame and as soon as I was out of the frame, I threw my sword down and screamed, “I don’t want to play anymore! I want to go home!” There I am with no shoes on, running through flames.

What’s next for you?

Matthew – Soldado, the sequel to Sicario. It will be equally as good and probably better. I saw about 15 minutes of it when we were filming. They cut together a piece as we were breaking for Christmas. And it’s just beautiful and terrifying. Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin and Catherine Keener are at the top of their game. I was really excited to participate in the film. I’m leaving next week to go do a film with John Travolta, where I’m going to play George Herbert Walker Bush. It’s a movie about the making of the cigarette boats. Don Aranow invented these really fast boats. They became boats that were used by drug smugglers. Bush bought a bunch of them for the U.S. government to combat the drug runners. So I’m working on my George H.W. Bush imitation without sounding like Dana Carvey.

47 Meters Down could be the Jaws of 2017.

Matthew – From your mouth to God’s ear. But this is different from Jaws. Peter Benchley’s book is the first big, thick book that I read when I was little. The shark seemed to be something more than simply a shark. It was a different kind of monster than Frankenstein or Dracula. It was something deeply primordial—the fear that the shark provided in the book.  In the film, the shark almost has a consciousness. It wants “that boat” and the people on “that boat,” to get them. It wants to get Robert Shaw and swallow him. This film doesn’t have that. The real predator in the movie is man. It’s the stupidity of humans going out and behaving stupidly out in the open sea.

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Mandy Moore on 47 Meters Down

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Mandy Moore & Claire Holt (©Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures)

Every summer there is a movie with shark. This summer won’t be any different. 47 Meters Down ‘dives in’ Friday, June 16, the first film distributed by Entertainment Studios. The film was purchased from The Weinstein Company a day before it hits the DVD shelves, fortunately we can watch this creepy story on the big screen. Directed by Johannes Roberts who also wrote the script alongside with Ernest Riera.

On the rebound after a devastating break-up, Lisa, played by Mandy Moore, is ready for adventure while on vacation in Mexico. Even still, she needs a little extra persuasion when her daring sister Kate, played by Claire Holt, suggests they go shark diving with some locals. Once underwater in a protective cage, Lisa and Kate catch a once in a lifetime, face-to-face look at majestic Great Whites. But when their worst fears are realized and the cage breaks away from their boat, they find themselves plummeting to the bottom of the seabed, too deep to radio for help without making themselves vulnerable to the savage sharks, their oxygen supplies rapidly dwindling. Aside from Moore and Holt, the film stars Matthew Modine, Yani Gellman, Chris Johnson, and more.

47 Meters Down is a terrifying tale of survival set in the domain of the ocean’s fiercest creatures. Let’s check it out what Mandy, who also stars in the hit NBC series This is Us, playing a young triplet’s mother, said during the roundtable interviews a couple of weeks ago in Beverly Hills.

The film is pretty intense and an exciting summer popcorn movie. You’re out of the water now, but is the fear ever over? Would you actually go shark diving?

Mandy Moore – No. I think it would be fun as long as someone could guarantee there is plenty of oxygen and a shark couldn’t make its way into the cage, I’d be fine with it.

You weren’t actually in open water when you shot this?

MM – No, we were in a tank.

Why did you want to make this movie? I imagine it was a physically grueling experience.

MM – Just that was so enticing to me. I’m not usually thought of for this particular genre so that was pretty exciting as well. But I loved the script; I found it so compelling from start to finish. The twist at the end, I didn’t see coming. I knew that it would be a challenge as well as be entirely rewarding.

47 Meters Down

Kate (Claire Holt) tries to calm her panicked sister Lisa (Mandy Moore) after they realize they’re trapped at the bottom of the ocean. ©Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures

Spending all that time in the water, how did you keep up the energy? Did you do a lot of training beforehand?

MM – A lot of sugar and caffeine. You go into it knowing it’s going to be somewhat physically taxing but I don’t think Claire or I had any idea how taxing it would be until we finished the first day and the first week. I’m not usually a napper, but I could not keep my eyes open at lunch. I would just pass out in my trailer. I’d eat and then take a nap. (someone mentions very low it’s kind of dangerous to do after diving, right?) I know, but we couldn’t help it. You don’t realize how much you’re extending yourself when you’re underwater like that. Even the smallest movements. There were days where I would come away thinking, “Oh, that wasn’t too physically taxing,” and yet I was still bone tired.

Have you always been a fan of this genre? “Jaws?” “Sharknado?”

MM – Sharknado! What I loved so much about this and we talked about this a lot during production, as much as everyone’s putting the emphasis on sharks, and I understand, they’re terrifying, what was much more terrifying to me and Claire was this prospect of drowning, of running out of air at the bottom of the ocean, and this race against the clock. Just that ultimate test of survival scares me way more than sharks. That’s my deepest fear.

After you had your dive training and practical lesson in the ocean, what did you think?

MM – I thought, “Is there going to be two months of this?” What was easier for us was that we were wearing not the regular mask and regulator that the camera-crew used. We were lucky enough to have the full facemask, obviously so we could talk underwater and you could see our facial expressions. Had I been in a regular mask and regulator, it would have been too much. Too scary.

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done?

MM – Probably skydiving. I’ve done it three times.

Oh so, you’re a thrill seeker?

MM – I don’t know. That’s pretty much where it begins and ends, to be honest. I like to think of myself as being spontaneous than I probably am, especially as I’ve gotten older. Bungee-jumping, no. That scares me. Windsurfing and all that kind of stuff sounds fun to me. But I haven’t been that adventurous as of late.

You’ve been in the public eye for a long time, since you were a teenager. How do you keep yourself centered or stable?

MM – I think the most important part is finding that balance with your life. From a young age, I was always keenly aware I was really lucky to be in this position. I didn’t take it for granted. I really tried to take advantage of the opportunities that came my way. You just find good people.

Your career as had the typical Hollywood ups and downs. Did you ever think about disappearing from Hollywood?

MM – Sure. I certainly thought of that during certain moments of my life and career, but you just keep sticking it out and hope that it will all come around again.

You became a celebrity at a time before social media was so ubiquitous. If you were starting out today with A Walk to Remember and your music, do you think you’d be any different?

MM – I’m not sure how kids do it these days. I feel like I have a bit of a wall, a bit of a veil. You keep your distance because I didn’t grow up around social media. I don’t think I would have fared very well. I probably just would have been very quiet.  When I think of young, I think of like 17 or 18. It’s so confusing.

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(©Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures)

Are you pleased that 47 Meters Down is now going to be released in theaters instead of going straight to DVD as it was initially supposed to do?

MM – Yeah, because I thought that the concept is so unique and the fact that 95 percent of this movie takes place underwater. That’s what really drew us to (this project) as well. That’s a really compelling conceit or premise. We were guinea pigs. No one had really shot a movie like this before. No one knew how it was going to turn out. It was a gamble for all of us so to see that it paid off and that it will see the light of day, and it’s coming to fruition in a way that we hoped for but none of us expected. You never really have a guarantee, especially with a project like this. It’s not a giant studio movie where it’s a superhero picture, of course it’s going to come out. So, we’re really grateful.

What do you want out of your life now?

MM – What do we all want out of our lives? How much time do you have? Balance, peace, happiness. I want to be challenged.

Of course, during the interviews the NBC’s series This Is Us was brought up and a could of questions were made. Here they are:

How’s your life changed in the past year because there are so many fans of This is Us? It’s also a big comeback for you.

MM – Sure. Yeah. It’s difficult being in this industry. We all sort of ride the wave and ebb and flow of our careers having higher moments and lower moments and balancing life. But when you find those projects and those moments that seem to click, it seems to make it that much sweeter.

How many times a day are you asked how Jack, who is her husband on the series This is Us, died?

MM – I’ve been telling people on this press junket that he got eaten by a shark.

How do you feel to be on this successful series?

MM – I feel like it’s come along at exactly the right time. People are looking for positive, hopeful entertainment, to say nothing of the incredible writing of (the show’s creator) Dan Fogelman. It’s such a wonderful cast. I just think people were hungry for this kind of cathartic material.

Are you in production on the next season of This is Us?

MM – We don’t go back until next month.

You haven’t seen any scripts yet?

MM – No, I think they just convened on June 1.

Do they ask for your input as to what you think should go on?

MM – No!! I wouldn’t trust my judgment anyway. I trust Dan Fogelman, the show’s creator.

Are you usually surprised to see what they have in store for your character?

MM – As an actor, we don’t always have all of the answers. It’s part of the job. Oftentimes, we don’t have any of the answers. It’s our job to figure that out because we need that information for ourselves. Whether or not that ends up on a television show aligning with what they write down the road, who knows. But it’s part of my job, I need that information for myself. Rebecca and Miguel may get together in some other way than I’ve imagined. I’m excited to get started again with the new season; I miss everyone.

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Kate (Claire Holt) & Lisa (Mandy Moore) (©Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures)


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Bring Home ‘Tangled Before Ever After’

Tangled-Before-Ever-After-2017-movie-poster

Rapunzel, the effervescent barefoot Princess with magical blonde hair, is back in an all-new Disney Channel Original Movie! And on April 11th you can bring home the DVD of Tangled Before Ever After and a free exclusive Rapunzel replica journal.

After all those years stuck in a tower, everyone’s favorite “barefoot princess”, voiced by Mandy Moore, yearns to make up for lost time. With the help of her true love Eugene, pals Pascal and Maximus and daring new friend Cassandra, Rapunzel postpones her wedding and royal duties to defy danger and boldly explore life beyond Corona’s walls. Sparkling with fun, adventure and music from the legendary Alan Menken, Tangled Before Ever After is a magical movie event!!

Mandy Moore and Zachary Levy reprise their roles of the original theatrical animation. Aside from them, the voice cast has Eden Espinosa as Cassandra; Julie Bowen as Rapunzel’s mother, Queen Arianna; and Clancy Brown as Rapunzel’s father, King Frederic.

The disc also includes four animated shorts – Checkmate, Prison Bake, Make Me Smile & Hare Pace – and subtitles in French and Spanish.